John 13:34-35 (NLT)
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Matthew 25:35-46 (NLT)
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, [a] you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. [b] 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth when you refused to help the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”Friday is the one-day of the week that my life slows down long enough for me to shop for groceries. The reason that I prefer shopping on Fridays is so that I can stock the house with food for the weekend. It seems that when we are not at work or school, it takes three times as much food for us to get through our days. I seem to have a hungry bunch at my house, so food is a big deal. I try to avoid my family getting the “Hangry Syndrome”. For those of you who do not know, that is the combination of a lot of hungry and a bit of anger.
This past Friday as usual, I went to my regular grocery store and made all of my food selections. As normal I headed to the check out line and the cashier gave me the total for my purchases. It was not until I went into my wallet that I remembered that my husband had the card that I needed. I had given it to him a few days earlier to take care of something for me, and I forgot to get it back. Of all times, I did not have any cash with me.
I was totally embarrassed, as there were people behind me waiting to check out also. The only thing that I could think to do at that very moment, was to step out of line, call my bank, and ask them to transfer funds to another card that I had with me, that I rarely use.
I told the cashier that I definitely wanted the groceries, but I would have to make a quick phone call to transfer some funds. I asked him if he would just leave the food in the cart and void the sale so that I wouldn’t have his register tied up while I was talking on the phone. That way he could continue taking care of his customers. The cashier began to transfer the rest of the groceries that he had begged for me to my cart. I stepped to the side and called my bank and told them that I needed to speak to someone that could transfer some funds for me.
There was a couple directly behind me when I was in line. The lady looked at me, made eye contact and smiled. The couple could hear my conversation as I was talking on the phone. The gentleman with her looked at me and then asked the cashier “ how much are her groceries?” The cashier told him, and he said, “ I want to pay for her groceries”. At that point, the cashier turned to me and said: “the gentleman said that he would like to purchase your groceries for you”. I looked at the gentleman and I told him to thank you but it was ok, that I was having some funds transferred. When I looked at his wife we made eye contact again and she looked at me and smiled as if to say it’s ok, let him pay for it. Then the gentleman told me a second time that he would pay for it. He then looked at me and said: “ next time, you do the same for someone else”.
Something inside of me was resisting his help, I know now that it was my pride. I finally surrendered my stubborn will. Because of my pride, I was about to miss a blessing and my pride was about to prevent him from being a blessing to me. After our very brief back and forth, I decided to accept this blessing from these complete strangers that God had sent my way that day. It was obvious that they wanted to be a blessing to someone and it just happened to be me. And with that, I should say thank you, Lord!
God used these two strangers to reveal to me once again, what a kind and generous heart really looks like. In a time when we see shreds of evidence of evil all around us, it is a true joy to see that there are people who still are genuine and who want nothing in return for their kind acts. They have no ulterior motive; they just desire to share their blessings with others.
As I was walking to my car I saw them going across the parking lot to their vehicle and I went over and thanked them once again for their unsolicited act of kindness. We introduced ourselves to one another and even exchanged business cards.
This act of kindness taught me that I should at all times be fully aware of the opportunities that I have on a daily basis to serve others. It also taught me to a be aware of God’s promptings so that I can be the difference maker in someone else’s life that He would want me to be, if only for one day.
I would like to challenge you also today to stay alert and make yourself available to help others as God prompts you to. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Be others focused.
This is just another way that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus. Don’t forget that we are blessed to be a blessing to others.
Have a blessed day looking for opportunities to serve others.
Micah 6:8 (NLT)
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.